Friday, October 28, 2005

"Broken legs" update

Today started out fine, crystal clear blue sky, cool North Florida morning. However, The call from the answering service was unexpected. The day after I blog about broken legs i get a call about another one. As before this one happened in the field with no known object seen. She was just running and the owner heard a "pop". It was that fast. An 18 year old in-foal broodmare.
This is so devastating to all involved. After a sonogram of the upper limb a comminuted fracture was evident and I humanely put her down. I've been in practice for many years and this never gets easier. It still sucks. The day ended cloudy and colder.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

"Broken legs"

Unfortunatly we seem to be seeing a very high number of broken limbs this summer. This is devastating to all involved. I can't say that any particular cause is involved but "debris"or "horse magnets" are usually associated with them. This can be anything that disrupts the level surface of the [asture/paddock ie. limbs/branches, boards, farm equipment or holes. Sometimes an actual cause is never found. A fracture almost always causes a non-weight bearing lameness and usually swelling. While an abscess can make them lame , a fracture is acute with you finding your horse suddenly unwilling to walk. If the break is not complex (exposed bone) and in the lower limb there are surgical options so you should call immediately and apply a support bandage. Regardless of the extent of the break it is costly both monitarily and emotionally. I best advice is to be diligent in inspecting and cleaning your pastures , particularly after a strong wind. Walk through these areas looking for anything that your horse could find to do harm to themselves and remove it. Trust me....they'll find it. Dr Nancarrow and I have had to euthanize far to many this year with some truely horrendous injuries and your keen eye could help protect your horse from such an end.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Anhidrosis-sweating it out with a non-sweater

I've seen a very large number of non-sweaters this summer and in Florida where its un-godly hot that can be a bad thing. I'm not sure why we are seeing more this year as apposed to the past.
After we confirm the diagnosis with a sweat test we are left with a disease that has few effective treatments so we frequently try them all. These include electrolyte supplementation, One AC,daily beer and recently the use of prostaglandins. Some improve and many don't so we are left with trying to just get through the summer with environmental control. One promising inovation is the use of a fan/misting system similar to the "kool-zone" fans used by sports teams. One of our clients found a company that makes the mist/fog tubing and employed a large fan to build her own.
This tubing can be found at www.farmtek.com and is about $50.00. This was set up in a walk-in,walk-out stall and uses only about one gallon/hour of water so there isn't a muddy mess
in the area. The horse then has the option of moving in and out as needed, but on really bad days they seem to stay in there alot. I encourge you to try this in those cases that don't respond to treatment. Good luck.